Why My Dog Drank Hot Chocolate

Why My Dog Drank Hot Chocolate?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why My Dog Drank Hot Chocolate?“.

Every year Americans consume about 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate and 80% of adults in the U.S. eat chocolate? Theres no doubt that we love chocolate and its various varieties and forms make it even more enticing. However our pets should not be allowed to eat chocolate! 

Its clear to every responsible pet parent that chocolate and cocoa are dangerous to their pets so we keep dogs and chocolate apart. Although we try to be careful sometimes things do not work out as planned. 

Why My Dog Drank Hot Chocolate

Suppose for example you bought yourself a delicious and creamy hot chocolate drink from Starbucks and your dog drank some of it while you were away.

How would you handle such a situation? What should you do if your dog becomes ill? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this article. 

Why is chocolate so dangerous for dogs?

Due to two chemicals present in chocolate it is dangerous for dogs. 

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which are two substances that upset a dogs system especially theobromine which is solely responsible for chocolate toxicity. 

A dogs system cannot efficiently metabolize theobromine as quickly as a humans despite it being a natural stimulant and diuretic. 

Theobromine which is found in chocolate is not broken down quickly enough in a dogs body and stays there for too long causing symptoms of chocolate toxicity.

Theobromine is highly toxic to dogs causing increased heart rate irritability restlessness vomiting diarrhea etc.

Even though chocolate contains caffeine theobromine is the compound responsible for the toxic effects of chocolate on dogs as chocolate contains far fewer caffeine molecules than theobromine and dogs metabolize caffeine much faster than theobromine. 

What are the main ingredients in hot cocoa?

Hot cocoa is toxic to dogs as is chocolate. While chocolate and hot cocoa differ in many ways they have one thing in common: cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder is the basic ingredient in many hot cocoa mixes such as Nestle Hot Chocolate Ghirardelli Chocolate and Swiss Miss Chocolate so they’re extremely unhealthy for dogs. 

Cocoa is made up of three main ingredients:

Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder contains large amounts of theobromine as much as 26 mg per gram. Approximately four to twelve hours after consuming chocolate your dog may start showing signs of chocolate toxicity and you should seek immediate vet care.


Dogs can consume a small amount of milk. Whole milk and most dairy products contain high amounts of fat however which may cause upset stomachs or pancreatitis. 


If you do not like sugar in your hot cocoa you’re not going to like it. Dogs that consume too much sugar can develop serious health problems like obesity diabetes etc.

How much cocoa is used in hot chocolate?

Theres no way to know how much cocoa is in hot chocolate (unless its homemade) but its usually a lot since the cocoa powder is the main ingredient. With a chocolate toxicity calculator you can estimate the amount of theobromine in it. 

Theobromine content in hot chocolate can be gauged with this tool so that you know what kind of reaction your dog will have to the drink.

Chocolate toxicity calculators will require you to provide some information about your dog such as what kind of chocolate it ate how much it ate and its weight in order to calculate the amount of theobromine in chocolate. 

Why is dark chocolate cocoa more dangerous than milk chocolate cocoa?

Theobromine toxicity in chocolate is determined by the amount consumed per kilogram of dog weight. It is possible for dogs to consume chocolate bars or drinks containing a negligible amount of theobromine. This is because theobromine a component of chocolate is toxic to dogs in large quantities. 

Chocolates with a higher concentration of theobromine tend to be darker and bitter. Therefore dark chocolate is more dangerous to dogs because it contains more theobromine than milk chocolate.

Approximately 44-60 mg of theobromine is contained in an ounce of milk chocolate while 135 mg of theobromine is contained in an ounce of dark chocolate. 

Why does the size of your dog matter?

Chocolate toxicity levels depend on several factors including the size of the dog type of chocolate and the amount that is consumed as theobromine poisoning is dose-dependent and the toxic dose is equal to 20 mg per kg of dog weight.

Due to the fact that even a small amount of chocolate can have serious side effects on small dogs these can be more susceptible to chocolate toxicity. 

The dog may consume 2 oz. of food if it weighs 10 pounds. Milk chocolate will make them sick with symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea but a 50-pound dog will not be affected by the same amount.

Approximately 44-60 mg of theobromine are found in each ounce of milk chocolate and the dose of theobromine that is toxic is 20 mg per kilogram. 

In spite of the fact that small amounts of chocolate would not negatively affect a large dog its still important to keep chocolate away from them because their bodies can not properly digest theobromine and the substance will accumulate in their bodies.

Another study revealed that continuous exposure to theobromine will ultimately lead to cardiomyopathy which is a chronic heart condition affecting the heart muscles causing the heart to have difficulty efficiently pumping blood throughout the body. 

What are the signs of chocolate toxicity?

Following are the symptoms you should expect if your dog consumes large amounts of chocolate;

  • Weakness
  • Uncomfortable stomach
  • Vomiting 
  • Having diarrhea
  • Saliva dripping from the lips
  • Irritability
  • Standing or walking with difficulty
  • An increase in breathing rate
  • Rhythmic abnormalities of the heart
  • Symptoms of muscle tremors
  • Seizures 

What action should I take?

When you notice that your dog ate chocolate find out what type and how much they ate. This information will help your vet determine how to proceed.

The chocolate toxicity calculator can also be used to determine the severity of the situation. 

Whenever you suspect that your dog has eaten a significant amount of something that may be harmful you should immediately contact your veterinarian for emergency treatment.

In the case of poisoning your vet may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to safely remove it from your dog.

A doctor may administer IV fluids and other medications as a treatment option in very severe cases.

How quickly might a dog become ill?

Within 4 to 12 hours after your dog eats chocolate he or she may start to show signs of toxicity which can last up to 72 hours.

The good news is that dogs can be treated for chocolate toxicity with immediate and appropriate vet care. 

What should I do if my dog drinks chocolate milk?

Since chocolate milk contains ingredients that are not dog-friendly dogs should never drink it.

There are three ingredients in a chocolate milkshake: milk ice cream and chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup is made up of cocoa powder sugar and water.

There is a sufficient amount of chocolate in chocolate milk and chocolate milkshakes making them just as dangerous as chocolate itself or hot cocoa.

Along with chocolate milk is also harmful to dogs especially in large quantities. It is possible for puppies to drink milk from their mothers because they have enzymes that enable them to digest it but they are often unable to digest milk from cows or goats.

The consumption of small amounts of milk is not harmful but consuming large amounts can cause diarrhea or vomiting. Additionally dogs can be lactose intolerant just like humans so they will tolerate milk in different ways. 

You should monitor your dog very closely and contact your vet if they drank chocolate milk. Within a few hours after consuming it some people may experience diarrhea.

This is especially true if they consume a large amount of it. You may have to take your dog to the vet for examination and medical treatment. 

Can dogs get burned by drinking hot drinks?

Hot drinks can burn dogs. The dogs body can be burned by hot liquids or objects and his mouth can be scalded if he drinks a very hot beverage.

Scalds and burns can be serious for dogs. There are a number of factors that contribute to the severity of a burn.

These include its type and location as well as its depth. In order to determine the best course of treatment for burns of any kind it is important to have the vet examine the wound. 

What is the safest hot drink for a dog?

Dogs are more sensitive to hot drinks than humans so they should not drink hot drinks.

Generally dogs do not like hot drinks so if you give them a bowl of warm water and one of room temperature water they will pick the latter.

You should never give your dog anything hot to drink not even during the winter. Dogs should never drink hot beverages. 

Why My Dog Drank Hot Chocolate should I worry?

Is it dangerous for your dog to drink hot chocolate? Chocolate poisoning can be treated fairly easily but it depends on how much your dog drank and what size dog you have. 

However you can pass that information on to your veterinarian or use the chocolate poison calculator to determine the expected response If you’re suitable to determine the quantum of chocolate your canine has eaten.

Be sure to cover your canine nearly during this time and report it to your veterinarian if you notice any signs of chocolate poisoning.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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